In this space a while back, I listed those things that writers do that tend to bug me. I then invited you readers in interest of equal time, to send me your list of what editors do that really bug you. I’d like to share with you one of the responses.
What bugs me about editors…1) I’m bugged when editors do nothing but plug other titles especially titles with little relevance to the storyline in question, in answer to letters. 2) I’m bugged when editors fill letters pages with letters that overly praise the work being done. I know you must receive letters that express moderate views – not every issue is a masterpiece – and negative views. I know, because I’ve written some! 3) I’m bugged when editors print letters with questions and then don’t answer them. Why print them if you’re not going to answer them? 4) I’m bugged when editors answer letters with stupid jokes or remarks that serve no purpose other than to humiliate the letter writer. There is no reason to respond in a condescending manner. There letter writer obviously feels he/she is making a valid point or offering a meaningful opinion. 5) I’m bugged when editors assume that because a reader buys one of the titles the editor works on, the reader also buys all the other titles the editor works on. For instance, in AVENGERS #270 you assume that everyone who buys AVENGERS also buys WEST COAST AVENGERS. Well, it’s not necessarily so.
There’s my Top Five Gripes about editors in no particular order. The comments are not a personal attack on you, just editors in general. You have been guilty of some, if not all, of these as much as any other editor to be named. Thanks for asking.
And thanks for responding, Don. You’re probably right that most editors are guilty of some of the practices that you’ve succinctly outlined. I agree with ⅘ of your gripes and will in the future try not to overplug books, select letters that overpraise, leave questions unanswered, or make fun of earnest correspondents. However, I will from time to time refer to “Mark’s Remarks” columns in other titles. I can’t help it. Sometimes I choose topics that just can’t be covered in a single column, and can’t wait a whole month for continuation. Tell you what, though, I’ll make sure to recap the jist of my remarks so you can follow what I’m talking about without reading the other book. (And if letters page cross-references do persuade readers to pick up a title they normally don’t, well, there are worse things to spend your money on!) I’ll print more Gripes About Editors when I get them.